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‘We really are ahead in terms of sustainable urban development’

11 October 2022
Our investment advisor Pär Abrahamsson; part of the exhibition at Expo Real 2022 (Photo credit: Expo Real); and a development project in Gothenburg
Energy prices, interest rates and sustainability were in focus when the international real estate industry gathered in Munich last week for Expo Real. Pär Abrahamson, our investment advisor for urban development, was among the near 40,000 people from 73 countries who were on location. He had a few intensive days of trend scouting, benchmarking and meetings with international companies and investors.

In a short interview, he tells us more about this year's event and some of his key takeaways.

How was this year’s fair?

“Expo Real 2022 was great. It was well-visited and there was a lot more activity than last year when it was very affected by the pandemic. This year Gothenburg didn’t exhibit, but I was there as a visitor, which meant there was more time to visit other regions and companies’ stands and reach out more to companies that could be interesting to attract to the Gothenburg region. I also had some good meetings that were pre-booked with companies who are considering establishing operations in Gothenburg,” says Pär Abrahamsson.   

“The global turbulence, including rising interest rates and energy prices, which has a big impact on Europe’s real estate market, was of course a prominent theme. Through this, there was even a lot of focus on sustainability, where the benefits, for example, to rapidly reduce the energy consumption of buildings have become increasingly clear.”   

What types of companies have you met and how is the level of interest in Gothenburg?

“I met with for example some property developers and companies within retail and logistics who have identified Gothenburg as a potential location. Interest in our region remains very strong, particularly within logistics. At the same time, we are now seeing some examples of companies that are waiting to see how they will be affected, above all, when private consumption weakens in the coming year, before they make any decisions,” says Pär Abrahamsson.  

How does Gothenburg compare on the international stage?

“I would say that Gothenburg holds a very strong position and is highly competitive. We really are ahead when it comes to sustainable urban development and mobility. For example, we’ve come a long way in terms of charging infrastructure for electric mobility and other smart city solutions. We also have ambitious targets in place to transition towards, for example, fossil free construction and emission free zones in the city,” says Pär Abrahamsson.

“However, one area where we can learn from other countries is how we make better and more flexible use of the land in our region. Land earmarked for industry is in short supply in many places, including in the Gothenburg region. There are interesting examples where properties that serve several different functions are being built to meet a city’s different needs. For example, it could be a building with warehouses and loading bays for electric trucks on the ground floor; one floor up could be premises for last mile logistics for deliveries with electric bikes; and above that could be offices and conference facilities. I think these types of solutions will be something we see more of, even in our region, in the future.”

 

3 facts on Gothenburg’s building boom

• EUR 100 billion will be invested in commercial and residential properties and infrastructure between 2016 and 2035.
• In total, around 105,000 homes and large volumes of commercial space will be built across the Gothenburg region between 2016 and 2035.
• River City, Scandinavia’s largest urban project development, is underway in the heart of Gothenburg. The project includes 25,000 apartments and workplaces for 50,000 people. 

 

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Pär Abrahamsson
Investment Advisor Urban Development
Area of work: Urban development
Area of concern: Establish and invest

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